Where Is ERP Headed in 2019? Into the Cloud

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software offerings on the market today are powerful and strategic business process management tools. It’s hard to imagine a large enterprise or government agency being able to conduct business without them. And it goes without saying that enterprise resource planning is an area that’s rapidly transforming. As customers and employees increasingly demand easy access to new functionality and increased mobility and security, ERP makers are being forced to figure out how to keep up.

Here are developments in the cloud ERP solutions market that both loyal ERP software users and potential buyers should consider:

The Role of Enterprise Resource Planning in Finance Is Evolving

The speed of change in business continues to accelerate, and winning requires both the best information to make decisions and the agility to execute quickly. Finance leaders are finding they must increasingly focus on planning and analytics over the traditional work involved in accounting, transaction processing and compliance reporting. For financial, planning and accounting (FP&A) teams to effectively support their stakeholders in the business, they must be able to respond rapidly to changes in operational conditions with relevant data and analytics. This allows the business to make faster decisions and therefore gain competitive advantage. Cloud-based ERP software applications are developing significant improvements in data and analytics.

Extending ERP Applications Is Easier Than You Think

The idea that cloud ERP applications do not fit a specific industry or business due to their limited ability to accommodate a unique business requirement is no longer true. Cloud ERP solutions today are providing extensibility that allows businesses immediate access to their marketplace where they can download applications unique to their specific sector or vertical. The business often must figure out when to extend the application and when to use out-of-the-box functionality. The answer to this question will depend on the industry and driving business requirements. Where possible, organizations should challenge themselves to stay within core functionality and business processes. Often, the driver for customization is “because that’s how we have always done it.” If the industry requires certain functionality, then extending the application may be the best solution – but remember extensions must comply with the coding requirements of your platform to be supported in future releases.

Niche Add-on SaaS Cloud ERP Solutions Can Deliver Immediate Return on Investment

ERP software developed to address a specific industry or business process are helping deliver cutting-edge best practices at a faster rate and at a better price point because they are not addressing the full backbone of your business. These vendors offer neither the robust ERP functionality nor the full end-to-end ERP footprint. But niche offerings allow unique options for businesses in industries like oil and gas, healthcare and others to consider when evaluating ERP digital transformation.

ISG helps enterprises and public sector organizations navigate the changing ERP solution landscape. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

About the author

Deb leads ISG’s Cloud Business Systems practice, drawing upon extensive experience in shared services, outsourcing and HR management to help clients define and implement their Cloud ERP and HR technology and service delivery strategies. Deb helps enterprises assess the business case for ERP/HCM SaaS solutions, understand the capabilities and experience of leading ERP/HCM SaaS providers and integrators, and formulate and execute effective negotiation strategies for ERP/HCM SaaS software and implementation. She has authored ISG’s annual survey on HR Technology and Service Delivery Trends since 2014. Deb has 30 years of experience and has been involved in more than 150 engagements across HR, payroll, benefits, talent acquisition, finance and ERP/HCM technologies.